I was so relieved to make it home to the Jersey Shore last week. Flight prices were absolutely insane ($700+), so when I finally found something doable I jumped on it. New Jersey really is best in the summer. Think hot temperatures, fierce thunderstorms, lots of greenery, and of course, the beach. I was back for a quick four days and managed to squeeze in three trips to the beach, four movies (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, To Rome with Love, Celebrity and You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger), three fabulous dinners out on the town (one each with my mom, dad and little sister), two trips to Strollo’s for the best Italian ice (!!), and a bike ride in Thompson Park. I ate a ton of fresh fish — sushi, crab-stuffed flounder, mahi mahi and tempura cod tacos. I swam in the ocean and even got caught on a beach rainstorm. Growing up, beach days were sacred, so we’d always wait out a storm and play on the rain-speckled sand once the sun came out again. We waited out the rain again and after a brief mini downpour, were treated to clear skies and an emptied-out beach.

I had such a good time, I left feeling a bit nostalgic. I hope that one day I can create summer memories for my kids that are half as good as my own.